Dhimal Living Museum, homestay to be constructed

By Our Correspondent,Urlabari, July 10: Belbari Municipality in Morang is all set to honour the Dhimal community by constructing the Dhimal Living Museum and a homestay programme in Matigaun, located in Ward 10 of the municipality.

Recognised as the first citizens by the municipalities of Pathari Shanishchare and Damak, the Dhimals primarily reside in the Tarai region of Morang and Jhapa districts.

The living museum aims to showcase the customs, traditions, costumes, food and culture of the Dhimal community.

Matigaun, considered the capital of the Dhimal community, boasts a unique settlement of 116 Dhimal households. Jogendra Dhimal, Chairman of the erstwhile Matigaun Village Development Committee, noted that no other place has such a concentrated Dhimal population. Ten houses have been selected for the homestay initiative, he added.

For the construction of the homestay, living museum and community building, Belbari Municipality allocated S. 2 million for the fiscal year 080-081.

This budget was used to prepare the Detailed Project Report (DPR) and study visits to establish homestays in other regions, such as Tharu Homestay in Meghauli, Chitwan, and Ghalegaun Homestay in Lamjung. These visits provided valuable insights for the development of the Dhimal homestay programme.

The homestay programme aims to promote the Dhimal cultural identity nationwide and create employment opportunities for women in the community.

Dhimals, who were once landholders in Jhapa and Morang, have now become landless. Padam Dhimal, 75, said that the Dhimals became landless because they could not mobilise their community financially. Dhimal said, “ We had 3 bighas of land. Now I am landless. I don’t even have land to make a hut now.”

Jogendra Dhimal said that the museum will be constructed on nine kattha of land owned by Rajajwala Dhimal of Maharajthan in Matigaun.

Mayor Dil Prasad Rai of Belbari Municipality emphasised that the project was a pioneering effort to build a living museum dedicated to the indigenous Dhimal community. The initiative is intended to foster social and economic awareness, self-employment, and self-reliance within the community. The budget for this programme is secured for the fiscal year 081/082 as well.

Local Laxmi Maya, Surya Maya, Padam, Nagendra, and Shobha Dhimal will manage the homestay operations, while Meghnath, Sakendra, Tara Bahadur, Sushila, and Usha Dhimal will assist them in managing the homestay.

Visitors to the homestay can enjoy traditional Dhimal dishes such as ‘Chichiribhat’, ‘Bagiya’, ‘Gendro’, ‘Chudur’, ‘Toye’, and ‘Kayam’.

The Rising Nepal

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